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Guide to Start a Business in the United Kingdom

Staff Reporter | 4:27 AM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in United Kingdom. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Check name for uniqueness at the company names index database on the web1 dayno charge
2Prepare memorandum and articles of association; fill out and sign Form IN01 (application for registration).1 dayGBP 135 (approximately GBP 100 for solicitor services + GBP 35 for statutory book)
3File incorporation documents with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House1 dayGBP 30
4Contact HMRC and register for VAT1 dayno charge
* 5Contact HMRC and register for PAYE8 days, simultaneous with previous procedureno charge
6Sign up for employer’s liability insurance1 dayno charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.